CHP to help Northern Calif. officers patrol streets
Steve Rubenstein and Christopher Heredia
OAKLAND, Calif. — California Highway Patrol officers will patrol the streets of Oakland to combat a recent wave of homicides that included the slaying of journalist Chauncey Bailey, the governor's office announced Tuesday.
"The violence in Oakland is absolutely unacceptable and represents a serious threat to innocent people,'' Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement.
The program is similar to one that sent Highway Patrol officers to the violence-plagued Bayview and Hunters Point areas of San Francisco in recent years.
Schwarzenegger said the additional resources dovetail with efforts he, Dellums and other California mayors have undertaken to reduce gang violence on city streets. Statewide, the governor in May launched the California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) to combat gang activity and violence.
CalGRIP proposes to direct more than $48 million in state and federal funding toward local anti-gang efforts, including job training, education and intervention programs, and will give law enforcement the ability to track gang members both inside state prisons and when they are released on parole.
"Unfortunately the budget stalemate threatens this initiative's implementation, but as I have said, I will do everything in my power to prevent impacts to our public safety programs," Schwarzenegger said.
Dellums met with Schwarzenegger six weeks ago to request additional state funding not only for officers on the streets of Oakland, but violence prevention efforts and assistance for reentry assistance for parolees coming home from prison.
"With the recent spike in homicides, the mayor reached out to the governor for additional resources," Dellums' chief of staff David Chai said Tuesday. "With these resources, the city will be better able to implement the mayor's comprehensive public safety strategies which include the addition of law enforcement, intervention and prevention efforts."
Oakland has had 79 homicides this year, just behind its pace of last year, when the city recorded 145 killings, the most since 1993, according to figures kept by the state Department of Justice and the FBI.
Dellums will provide details of his public safety strategy later this week. The program will touch upon efforts to bring more job training, probation officers, drug treatment as well as additional officers to Oakland in an effort to reduce the rising violence.
Copyright 2007 The San Francisco Chronicle
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